The Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Bank for International Settlements have concluded a year-long development program to design a full-stack central bank digital currency (CBDC) system.

Aurum: Two tier CBDC program

The program, dubbed Aurum, after the Latin word for gold, consisted of a wholesale interbank system in which wholesale CBDCs are issued to financial institutions for further distribution to retail users. 

The program also entailed a retail e-wallet system through which retail CBDCs changed hands among retail users. 

Project Aurum concluded that in the event that an intermediary operator fails, CBDCs could work with private stablecoins. 

“We have no doubt that the Aurum prototype will catalyze and inspire the global quest for the most suitable rCBDC [retail CBDC] architecture.” the report stated. 

Hong Kong looking to legalize crypto trading

A lot of developments have been reported on Hong Kong’s crypto front. The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region put out a press release earlier on 21 October, announcing a bill that seeks to establish a regulatory framework for virtual asset service providers. 

The South China Morning Post reported earlier this week that the leaders of Hong Kong intend to take a different approach than mainland China regarding crypto. The Securities and Futures Commission has indicated that retail investors should be able to directly invest into virtual assets. 

Li Jiachao, the chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, stated in a policy address on 19 October, that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority was “studying market views on regulating stablecoins” to come up with a regulatory regime in preparation for the “digital Hong Kong Dollar.”

Hong Kong: The most crypto-ready country 

A worldwide crypto readiness report published by Forex Suggest, found the island nation of Hong Kong to be the most crypto-ready country in the world. 

Factors such as blockchain startups per 100,00 people, the number of crypto ATMs proportional to the population, and zero tax on capital gains on crypto, have contributed to a rating of 8.6, putting Hong Kong at the top of this list. 

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